What started as a nice Friday afternoon in the plaza, ended as a very eye-opening and frightening one. So far in my life, I have been lucky enough to avoid any major suffering or hardship. I realized for the millionth time just how lucky I have been in life when I watched a taxi run over a very young boy that Friday afternoon. I heard what sounded like a popped tire, and I turned my head in time to see the rear tire resting square on the child's chest. What am I supposed to do as the people shout and wave the clueless driver forward? What am I supposed to do as the mother picks up his limp body in her arms? What am I supposed to do as the people instantly crowd around the scene? How am I supposed to feel as I watch all the terrified girls reach out to their boyfriends looking for comfort? How am I supposed to feel as I watch a band and a parade of dancers LITERALLY march through the scene as the police move the incident to the other side of the street?! What am I supposed to do? Well, I sat there glued to my bench crying like a coward and repeatedly murmuring, "Oh, my God. Oh my God." What was I supposed to do? After putting on a happy face for the clueless Jorge the rest of the afternoon, I eventually burst as we left the office that evening. I don't know what ended up of the little boy's life, but mostly I was preoccupied thinking about all the onlookers. I still can't seem to understand how people can see something so eye-opening and just move on with their lives in such a quick and seemingly tidy fashion. Life moves on. I have always struggled with that concept. When the time comes that I shall lose someone very close to me, I imagine I will have a very hard time coping. I don't like the concept of 'moving on.' Well, life does move on, but now it moves with a worry every time I walk the streets with Jorgito. He ALWAYS walks on the part of the sidewalk closest to the building now, and his back is never without the touch of my hand prepared to yank him out of the way. Life moves on, but just a little differently for me.
Last Friday afternoon also marked the start of La Entrada, which explains why there was a parade marching through the scene of the accident. La Entrada is a festival which occurs in the cities of La Paz, Oruro and Sucre, and it is basically an incredibly gargantuine parade which consists of hundreds of historic and folkloric dances and music of Bolivia. All kinds of people come together, wealthy and poor, to participate in the dances. The real festival starts Saturday morning and lasts all hours of the night. I was out until 4:00 Sunday morning and thought that meant the end of it all; however, I was shocked, and a little irked, to hear music blaring still as my family and I drove to lunch on Sunday afternoon. I can only handle so much partying, and I normally am not one for parties at all anyway. I had had enough partying for one weekend, but it certainly was an unforgettable and marvelous experience.
The fun really started in the late afternoon. My family and I stationed ourselves in the main plaza where all the action is. By 7:00, all my aunts and some crazy uncle were beyond drunk. This resulted in some serious fun and great pictures. My uncle was screaming at every beautiful woman that danced past, and if she didn't respond he simply chased after her and started dancing. Or was that more like stumbling? Hmm. Every time the band for each dance passed us, he felt some urge to attack the drummers. He just ripped the bass drum mallet out of someone's hand and started hammering the heck out of the drum as if it were perfectly normal.
After seeing an uncountable number of dances, we decided to wrap it up and head to la Casa Rodriguez(my family's wicked-awesome home in the plaza) for a party. It was there that my migraine started. Yay! So, at 11:30 I popped a pill and ran upstairs to shut my eyes in the hope that it would pass in time to enjoy the party. Luckily, I was functioning by 12:30 and finished out the remainder of the party getting hit on by drunkards in the street and dancing like a maniac with my aunts and uncles until 4:00 in the morning. The Rodriguez family definitely knows how to party. My writing expertise fails to convey how much I truly loved that night, but I do believe the pictures I posted on picasaweb.google.com/hmnelson12 will do the evening justice. Bolivia kind of stole my heart that day. The people are so happy despite their obvious hardships, and they have so much pride in their history. Please go check out the pictures!!!!
And you thought that was the end of my "chaotic" week? Yeah right. Somehow, I manage to get all rested up for school on Monday. The day is going well, and that afternoon I return to town with Jorge. Because I have no classes this afternoon, we get to work on dealing with extending my visa! Fun. After running errands all over town in the heat of the day, I take a break to go chill at the supermarket and start writing this exact post among other things. I am feeling a little dizzy, and finally I realize I am really just not feeling well. After rudely and abruptly ending all my facebook discussions, I ran outside in time to puke in the populated streets of Sucre, Bolivia. So, now I am standing all alone with just myself and my blond hair getting stared at by what feels like a million people as I puke and cry in the streets. Why aren't romantic love stories ever true? Why couldn't some gorgeous man just come pull back my hair and sweep me off my feet to dash me to safety? Come on, people! Instead of relying on my fairy-tale ending, I start traipsing back to Jorge's office. Once there, I managed to be sick 4 more times. Never in my life have I had so many people worried about me all at once. On top of all the office staff, I even had aunts and uncles there to fret over me! Besides help from Mom, I have always been kind of good at taking care of myself when I am sick. I wasn't sure if I was crying that afternoon because I was scared, or because I felt so incredibly loved. That is not to imply that I do not feel loved by my family in the states. :)
So, I made it home alive, though that was the longest car ride of my life. I would rather fly to Bolivia and back ten times than take that car ride while sick. Bolivian driving is already atrocious, and the addition of a miserable stomach and spinning head certainly don't make it any more bearable. I made it up to Jorgito's bedroom with the help of Jorge's arm and continued my labored breathing. I swear I am never having children. I can't even handle an upset stomach. Bolivians doctors are all gung-ho for house calls, because after more vomitlicious fun the doctor arrived and jabbed my belly a bunch of times. I swear he just got some sick pleasure out of seeing me wince in pain. Once he had enough fun with that, he jabbed me with an IV and I crashed a short while later. I stayed home from school the next day to recuperate and was feeling much better. And the day after that even better, but with a little bit of pain in my gut. It felt like someone punched me right in my gut below the ribs. Ugh. Today, I am up and running. I finally got to pass on chicken broth, and I ate pizza for dinner tonight. Heaven.
In short, this last week has been a long one. Long and interesting. Finally, I have finished this post, and now I must leave the comfort of my bed to stay out late on a school night. Definitely sleeping in physics tomorrow.